Happy home loan customers drive record banking satisfaction

by AB27 Feb 2014
Consumer satisfaction with banks has hit a record high, new research from Roy Morgan shows.

The satisfaction level of the personal customers of banks reached 81.6% in January, a marginal increase from 81.5% in December, but enough to achieve the highest level in the 18 years of the Research Consumer Single Source survey.

The Big Four banks scored 80.2% satisfaction, and the other banks scored 84.6%.

Roy Morgan said the major reason for the Big Four’s improvement over the last 12 months has been the interest rate reductions for their home loan customers, who have increased their satisfaction rating by 4.4% points compared to an increase of only 0.9% points for other customers.

In the six months to January 2014, CBA maintained its top ranking of the Big Four with 82.1% satisfaction, followed by NAB (80.3%), Westpac (78.5%) and ANZ (77.9%).

The smaller banks, however, remained the overall  pace-setters  with sixteen banks scoring higher than the big four, the leader being Teachers Mutual Bank on 91.4%.

The biggest improvers among the major banks over the last month were CBA and NAB (both up 0.3% points), followed by ANZ (up 0.2% points). Westpac showed a 0.3% decline.
In the case of Westpac and the ANZ, their home loan customers now have higher satisfaction than their non-home  loan customers.

While the main driver of the improvement in customer satisfaction among the Big Four over the last 12 months has been the reduction in home loan interest rates, the increased use of internet banking is also contributing, Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris said.

“The home loan interest rate reductions over the last two years have been driving big improvements in home loan customer satisfaction but with no change in rates since August 2013, the impact of this on customer satisfaction is likely to stabilise in the coming months.

“With this likely slowdown in the rate of satisfaction improvement from home loan customers, there will need to be more focus on improving satisfaction levels among non- home loan customers.

“This important group make up the majority of bank customers and will be looking for improvements in areas such as fees, service, products and higher interest rates. It will be important therefore when interest rates eventually rise that this group receive the full increase just as home loan customers expect to receive the full reductions when the cash rate declines.